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Weird 400?

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Hey guys.
I was cleaning out my basement and found my original Atari 400 that I gotten when I was a teenager, buried in a Rubbermaid tote! I've been looking for this thing for years and it was literally a few feet below me the whole time. The basement floods a little occasionally so the 400 was very musty but no rust. I've been cleaning her up and it took soaking it in vinegar in the end to finally get rid of any smell that was left. Powered her up and she works fine! Very happy!

The actual reason for this post is because when I was reassembling it the cartridge door spring flew away from me and I couldn't find it. A 10 minute reassemble turned into hours of where the hell did the damn spring go. I literally had to empty the room bit by bit to no avail. Since this 400 was my original baby I had to fix it perfectly so I decided to win the junkiest Atari 400 auction I could find just to get the spring! It so happened that on Goodwill there was a batch of 2 dead 400's just about to end and I got them for just over 80 bucks. Figured they might work or could be fixed and could make a few bucks on eBay selling them. So long story short both of the 400's have 48k and works fine but the other one was weird. It had 2 SIO ports, a parallel port, a couple of LEDs in the grill and it just looked a little different to my eye. When I opened it up both of extra ports were disconnected. The motherboard has green card slots and a few other changes. The keyboard's rear is very strange and has a soldered connector cable and was screwed to the shielding. Other little things like the shield back panel  has to circle indents. Even the cardboard underneath has two big circle cuts outs instead of the normal 2 big 2 small holes. It turns on and displays a BW screen because it's also a PAL machine. Here are the pics. Is this any special.

PS I found the spring about 10 minutes after I won the Auction of course!

 

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nice!

if you hadntve lost the spring you never wouldve found these rare oddities!

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Looks like a ram upgrade signal loopback card on the bottom, a sio passthru, and in another life possible serial and parallel printer mods that might have needed a second PIA... the solder is disturbed in different places that were used as pick off points. The standard SIO port looks like the wrong flux or solder was used (possibly acid based) I'd clean and protect that as soon as I could. The other thing that might have been would be another keyboard having been connected and the jacks in the back could have been for stereo gumby mod or patches etc..

 

Edited by _The Doctor__

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Yeah and there was no spring on the door. Lucky I found the one I lost. LOL. I just looked on ebay and there is another 400 keyboard on there that looks like this one for sale at the moment so it might not be so special. Has anyone ever seen the green slots before?

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Also looking at this keyboard and the usual ones, does this one seem to have more metal support around the edges?

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Given that the DB25 connector on the top case isn't currently used, it may have once connected to the cut wires on the keyboard. I did similar to a 400 BITD, but I put the DB25 on the bottom case under the power board connected to the pads for the keyboard connector.

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It is possible the DB25 port was for the use of the external Sidewriter keyboard, as that used a DB25 connector.image.thumb.png.a0ec550eac72952324ee8d560c2fc484.png

Edited by jcbstein
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1 minute ago, jcbstein said:

It is possible the DB25 port was for the use of the external Sidewinder keyboard, as that used a DB25 connector.image.thumb.png.a0ec550eac72952324ee8d560c2fc484.png

that looks like the winner right there.

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Yup I agree, I remember reading about those back in the day, looks a perfect reason for the db25. My brother was thinking of getting one of those for his 400 but he was put off by the soldering and the fact it was US based iirc . I also think him being colour blind might have led to a soldering disaster..

 

 

Edited by Mclaneinc

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